London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Nadhim Zahawi committed a serious breach of ministerial code, says Sunak

Nadhim Zahawi committed a serious breach of ministerial code, says Sunak

Nadhim Zahawi has been sacked as Tory Party chairman, after an inquiry by the prime minister's ethics adviser found he had failed to disclose that HMRC was investigating his tax affairs.

The PM said Sir Laurie Magnus's inquiry made clear there had been a "serious breach of the ministerial code".

Rishi Sunak asked for the probe after Mr Zahawi admitted paying a settlement to HMRC, including a penalty.

Sir Laurie said the MP had missed many chances to be open about his tax.

In his report for Mr Sunak, he wrote: "Mr Zahawi's conduct as a minister has fallen below the high standards that, as prime minister, you rightly expect from those who serve in your government."

Sir Laurie cited Mr Zahawi's failures to update his register of interests until more than a year after HMRC started looking into his taxes.

When Mr Zahawi reached a settlement with the taxman in August 2022, this too should have been declared, Sir Laurie wrote.

The BBC understands that Mr Zahawi - who was then responsible for the UK's tax system as chancellor - paid around £5m in total, including a penalty.

Mr Zahawi has previously insisted that he acted properly, and that his tax error was "careless and not deliberate".

But Mr Zahawi's "omissions" of information constituted a "serious failure to meet the standards set out in the ministerial code", Sir Laurie wrote in his report.

Sir Laurie was also critical of the MP for describing news stories about his tax affairs as "smears" in July 2022 and failing to correct the record until earlier this month.

"I consider that this delay in correcting an untrue public statement is inconsistent with the requirement for openness," he said.

After receiving the findings, Mr Sunak wrote to Mr Zahawi to say he had decided to remove him from government.

Mr Zahawi thanked the prime minister and said he took pride in his role in the vaccine rollout and the Queen's funeral - but did not offer an apology or mention his tax affairs.

He promised to support the prime minister "from the backbenches in the coming years".

In his letter to Mr Zahawi, Mr Sunak said the MP for Stratford-on-Avon could be "extremely proud" of his achievements in government, including overseeing the Covid vaccine rollout.

But Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Zahawi should have been sacked "long ago" and accused the prime minister of being "hopelessly weak".

Ms Rayner and Labour Party chair Anneliese Dodds have now written to the prime minister asking him to "come clean" about when he was made aware of the HMRC investigation into Mr Zahawi.

Downing Street has previously insisted that Mr Sunak "was not informed of these details, informally or otherwise".

The SNP's Kirsty Blackman echoed Labour's concerns, saying the prime minister still had "questions to answer over the whole affair".

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper called on Mr Zahawi to go a step further and resign as an MP.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg that it was important the facts were "investigated fully and properly" and the situation had required "cool forensic analysis".

Asked whether Mr Zahawi should ever have been appointed, Mr Gove said his "understanding" was that there was "no information that was brought to the attention of the prime minister, either Rishi or indeed Liz Truss which would have led them to believe at the time it was inappropriate to have Nadhim on the team".

During his interview, Mr Gove also said he expected Mr Zahawi to "reflect" on how he had told journalists looking into his tax affairs that they were attempting to smear him.

Dan Neidle, the tax lawyer who began investigating Mr Zahawi's taxes last year, told BBC News the MP had "set lawyers on me... he tried to shut me up".

"Regardless of what happened with the tax, his behaviour... I feel, was a breach of the ministerial code," said Mr Neidle, who is a Labour supporter but insists his investigations are non-partisan.

In his letter to Mr Sunak, Mr Zahawi expressed concern about the conduct of journalists in recent weeks, specifically mentioning one headline which said the "noose was tightening".


Timeline


April 2021: HMRC starts having interactions with Mr Zahawi, including a meeting with him and his advisers. Mr Zahawi - who was vaccines minister at the time - told Sir Laurie he believed he was "merely being asked certain queries" rather than being investigated. Sir Laurie says Mr Zahawi should have understood this was "a serious matter" and included it in his declaration of interests

15 September 2021: Mr Zahawi is made education secretary by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Sir Laurie says Mr Zahawi again failed to declare his interest

5 July 2022: He is promoted to chancellor. He completes a declaration of interest for his new role but makes no reference to an investigation by HMRC

10 July 2022: Mr Zahawi describes reports he is being investigated by HMRC as "smears"

15 July 2022: He receives a letter from HMRC and subsequently updates his declaration of interests to acknowledge an investigation was under way.

August 2022: Mr Zahawi reaches an agreement with HMRC for failing to take "reasonable care". The BBC has been told the total amount paid to the taxman was in the region of about £5m

September 2022: A final settlement is agreed with HMRC but Mr Zahawi does not update his declaration of interest form with the new information

September and October 2022: Mr Zahawi becomes a levelling up minister under Liz Truss's short-lived premiership and Tory Party chair under Rishi Sunak. Again, Mr Zahawi does not update his declaration of interest form

21 January 2023: Mr Zahawi issues a statement acknowledging he reached a settlement with HMRC following an investigation

23 January 2023: The prime minister asks his ethics adviser Sir Laurie to look into the disclosures made about the tax affairs of Mr Zahawi


Watch: Michael Gove is asked why Nadhim Zahawi was given the post in the first place

Watch: Labour's Bridget Phillipson - There are still "serious questions" for Rishi Sunak to answer


Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
You Are So Beautiful
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
Sattahip Motor Show 20
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
A kiss to build a dream on
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Mean Blues
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
La Chansonnette
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Pattaya Addicts
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Dream a little dream of me
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Rondo Alla Turca
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Kiss of fire
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
La vie en rose
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Only you (And you alone)
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Strangers In The Night
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Summer time
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Aux Champs Elysees
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
She
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
Radiohead - Creep
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Pentatonix Havana
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
"History is Watching": Biden Encourages US House to Approve Ukrainian War Aid
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Wolf! Wolf!: Joe Biden Joins TikTok Despite Washington's Security Risk Warnings
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Kylie Minogue to receive Brits global icon award and will perform at ceremony
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Russian Oligarch's Seized Yacht Costs More Than $7 Million A Year To Maintain: US
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×